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Rebuild Hartford Loop?

tomj
tomj Member Posts: 3
Hi all,



I recently had a tech in for an unrelated problem. He took a look at our boiler and pointed out that the boiler was surging. When the boiler is running the water does bounce 2 to 3 inches in the glass, so I guess it is surging.



He said the problem was that our hartford loop was set up incorrectly. That the close nipple was too large and needed to be smaller and that a 90 degree bend should  happen immediately after the nipple rather than where it does now.  I've enclosed a picture showing the setup.



I have Dan's "Steam Trilogy" and can't find anything about nipple size

and surging. He quoted me pretty large sum for redoing the piping and I was hoping one of the more experienced users on the board could tell me if he's right or if I'm dealing with a knucklehead. 



He also wants to clean out the boiler and the wet return, both of which are probably good ideas since this hasn't been done in a while, but he also wants to add something called "Surgix" to the water -- is this a good idea?



Any help would be greatly appreciated!



Thanks,



Tom

Comments

  • jpf321
    jpf321 Member Posts: 1,567
    step back and take more...

    i think more pictures of the general boiler piping from various angles may be useful .. it looks like you may have more going on than you think.
    1-pipe Homeowner - Queens, NYC

    NEW: SlantFin Intrepid TR-30 + Tankless + Riello 40-F5 @ 0.85gph | OLD: Fitzgibbons 402 boiler + Beckett "SR" Oil Gun @ 1.75gph

    installed: 0-20oz/si gauge | vaporstat | hour-meter | gortons on all rads | 1pc G#2 + 1pc G#1 on each of 2 mains

    Connected EDR load: 371 sf venting load: 2.95cfm vent capacity: 4.62cfm
    my NEW system pics | my OLD system pics
  • Yes, more pictures....

    It looks like you may not even have a header.  If you have the installation manual, take a look at the required piping.  If you don't have the manual you can usaully find it online.

    Boilerpro
    The Steam Whisperer (Formerly Boilerpro)

    Chicago's Steam Heating Expert





    Noisy Radiators are a Cry for Help
  • tomj
    tomj Member Posts: 3
    More Pictures

    Here are more photos, as requested.



    And no there's no header. After getting Dan's books a couple of weeks ago I was looking at the system and wondering about the header/equalizer, but figured I must be misunderstanding something. The guy I had in who told me to rebuild the hartford loop didn't mention it nor did the various techs we've had in over the years to inspect/clean the system.



    I should point out it's been piped and running this way for at least 13 years which is when I bought the house. The boiler was installed by the previous owners and it's been running fine - relatively quiet, heats evenly etc. so I've never really paid attention.



    The main reason I've taken an interest recently -- besides what the plumber told me about the hartford loop --  is because my wife's cousin, who helped his dad install a hot water system once, was trying to tinker with the system over the holidays because "the radiators aren''t heating evenly across" and I wanted clear information so I could convince him to leave things alone next Christmas ;-)



    Finally, I dug out the owner's manual and it very clearly shows that the boiler should be piped with a header and that my piping is all wrong. It's got greasy fingerprints all over it, so clearly someone opened it, I just wish they'd actually read it.



    So how screwed am I? And can anyone recommend a pro in southern connecticut or westchester who actually knows single pipe steam? My Hartford loop guy is not filling me with confidence . .



    Sorry for the length of this and thanks very much for the help!



    Best,



    Tom
  • jpf321
    jpf321 Member Posts: 1,567
    i can't imagine

    that this is working anywhere near where it should be, and am surprised it works at all ... and I can imagine a time when you correct all your near boiler piping and you are a happy comfy more efficient steam owner finally after 13yrs.



    what is the brand and model so we can look up the owner/I&O manual online.



    thanks
    1-pipe Homeowner - Queens, NYC

    NEW: SlantFin Intrepid TR-30 + Tankless + Riello 40-F5 @ 0.85gph | OLD: Fitzgibbons 402 boiler + Beckett "SR" Oil Gun @ 1.75gph

    installed: 0-20oz/si gauge | vaporstat | hour-meter | gortons on all rads | 1pc G#2 + 1pc G#1 on each of 2 mains

    Connected EDR load: 371 sf venting load: 2.95cfm vent capacity: 4.62cfm
    my NEW system pics | my OLD system pics
  • tomj
    tomj Member Posts: 3
    Make and Model

    The boiler is a Carrier BS2AAN00150AAAA - based on the Carrier website and the manual that I have, the important part of that long number seems to be BS2.



    However, a search of the Carrier website has an Owner's Manual that tells you how to start and stop the boiler etc but does not have any documents showing correct installation.



    I've scanned the 2 diagrams from my manual and attached them if that'll help.



    Thanks again!



    Best,



    Tom
  • jpf321
    jpf321 Member Posts: 1,567
    edited February 2010
    well that spells it out pretty well....

    those pages are very helpful .. i'm interested too in what #1-#6 say as well.. i like that #7 specifically prohibits copper.



    i wonder if you have the 2nd tapping on the other side (2nd page configuration) .. if and when you repipe according to the manual, it may be useful to check on that 2nd side tapping .. it will be helpful in providing better steam quality.



    i think it should be obvious to you the shortcomings or at least the improperness of your current piping .. i don't think it would be too costly or difficult to repipe properly .. but i'm not a pro and i don't live where you live (i don't think) .. in any case .. it seems like a good project for april - sept :-)



    i think someone here just within the last day or so mentioned the CT Gold Coast .. so you may be in luck with finding someone local. I'll see if I can search it and will post the link here.



    here you go .. Paul Fredricks .. [url=http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/129919/What-the#p1189377]http://www.heatinghelp.com/forum-thread/129919/What-the#p1189377
    1-pipe Homeowner - Queens, NYC

    NEW: SlantFin Intrepid TR-30 + Tankless + Riello 40-F5 @ 0.85gph | OLD: Fitzgibbons 402 boiler + Beckett "SR" Oil Gun @ 1.75gph

    installed: 0-20oz/si gauge | vaporstat | hour-meter | gortons on all rads | 1pc G#2 + 1pc G#1 on each of 2 mains

    Connected EDR load: 371 sf venting load: 2.95cfm vent capacity: 4.62cfm
    my NEW system pics | my OLD system pics
  • Hartford Loop

    Hi Tom- The first thing that comes to mind is the phrase. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

    It is working satisfactorily and I'm not sure what exactly the benefit would be to now "fix" it. While it probably would work better with the correct piping configuration, since the boiler is 13 + years old it might be better to just wait till you replace the boiler before making changes to the piping. I'd just plan for the replacement by reading up on steam and checking out replacement boilers and search for a good steam pro in your area. That way when you are ready, you'll know exactly what you want and how it should be piped.



    Radiators-  It depends a lot on the temperature in the house and outside as to whether the radiators heat all the way across. If the thermostat setting is satisfied before the radiators completely fill with steam, you're going to have a partially cold radiator. You could look into improving your main venting and experiment a bit with different size radiator vents to possibly improve the time it takes for steam to enter the radiators.



    Surging-  You may want to look for the term "Skim " or "Skimming" in Dan's book and on the Wall as this is what needs to be done to eliminate surging. If your waterline in the sight glass is bouncing more than 3 /4 of an

    inch, it is probably a sign that the boiler needs to be "skimmed". There

    is a good article on skimming in the June 2009 issue of Oil



    Heating on Page 20  called "Cleaning a Steam Boiler and Keeping it



    Clean" Here's a link:



    [url=http://www.epaperflip.com/aglaia/viewer.aspx?docid=9beef5d931a94544990269f771411ad1]http://www.epaperflip.com/aglaia/viewer.aspx?docid=9beef5d931a94544990269f771411ad1



    Skimming is a good example of what the homeowner can do.It a simple

    operation though requires a lot of time just standing around. Having a

    pro do this would be obviously costly and a waste of their abilities. On your boiler you can probably use the upper plugged tee for a skim port. (I've attached a picture of a boiler with a skim port installed)

    You can sometimes get away with a single skimming though I've found I usually need to do it several times to get all the oil film etc. out. I skim, then run the boiler for a week and then skim again. The idea is to skim the surface of the boiler water off very slowly. (I fill a 5 gall bucket in about two hours)



    Additives to boiler water - Generally most recommendations are to just use plain water with no additives.  I usually try this first.  I've also used a product by Rhomar http://www.rhomarwater.com/products/residential-steam-system/ which has worked very well.

    - Rod
  • Paul Fredricks_3
    Paul Fredricks_3 Member Posts: 1,557
    Not me

    Won't be me JPF, we are an oil company, no gas, and only work on our customers equipment.
  • jpf321
    jpf321 Member Posts: 1,567
    no disrepect rod....

    i mean no disrespect rod .. but i think that his 2 - 3 inch bouncing water in the glass gauge is due directly to his piping and i'm not sure that skimming will help him solve that portion of his query.



    they call for 24" AWL to the header and another 15" above header to the mains.  his looks to be a pretty straight shot from boiler tap to main and while he may have the clearance, he doesn't have a proper equalizer... i think he is sucking/pushing water due to velocity right up his riser and then it is dropping back straight into his "equalizer" ... and while he has water in the riser to his main .. it is completely FULL and there is no chance for steam flow .. only once gravity wins against velocity is the water falling out of the pipe and allowing steam flow .. at least that's the way i envision it. 
    1-pipe Homeowner - Queens, NYC

    NEW: SlantFin Intrepid TR-30 + Tankless + Riello 40-F5 @ 0.85gph | OLD: Fitzgibbons 402 boiler + Beckett "SR" Oil Gun @ 1.75gph

    installed: 0-20oz/si gauge | vaporstat | hour-meter | gortons on all rads | 1pc G#2 + 1pc G#1 on each of 2 mains

    Connected EDR load: 371 sf venting load: 2.95cfm vent capacity: 4.62cfm
    my NEW system pics | my OLD system pics
  • Hartford Loop

    JPF- I absolutely agree with you. However since he was happy with the performance for the last 13+ years (this questioning of the piping was only the result of a tech's remark) and wasn't having a problem with the operation of his system, why mess with it?!

    With the age of his boiler he will probably be replacing his boiler fairly soon so the amount of pay back from any increased performance from changing the piping would be negligible.

    Perhaps another approach might be to tentatively decide on several possible replacement boilers and then design a universal header and return setup that could work with the present boiler and could then easily be modified to work with the replacement boiler.  By using unions in strategic places this should be fairly easy to do and you'd then recover most of your expense of modifying the present unit.

    Skimming- My thought was that while it might not help with the surging, certainly wouldn't hurt and if he does it himself, the cost would be minimal.

    - Rod
  • jpf321
    jpf321 Member Posts: 1,567
    perhaps you can recommend someone in his hood

    perhaps you can recommend someone in his hood.. but good to know you are an F/O co. thanks. 
    1-pipe Homeowner - Queens, NYC

    NEW: SlantFin Intrepid TR-30 + Tankless + Riello 40-F5 @ 0.85gph | OLD: Fitzgibbons 402 boiler + Beckett "SR" Oil Gun @ 1.75gph

    installed: 0-20oz/si gauge | vaporstat | hour-meter | gortons on all rads | 1pc G#2 + 1pc G#1 on each of 2 mains

    Connected EDR load: 371 sf venting load: 2.95cfm vent capacity: 4.62cfm
    my NEW system pics | my OLD system pics
  • jpf321
    jpf321 Member Posts: 1,567
    yep .. agreed

    thanks rod .. i understand now .. and agree .. just wanted to make it clear to Tom that all the skimming in the world may not solve his problem/or lack of problem.



    jpf
    1-pipe Homeowner - Queens, NYC

    NEW: SlantFin Intrepid TR-30 + Tankless + Riello 40-F5 @ 0.85gph | OLD: Fitzgibbons 402 boiler + Beckett "SR" Oil Gun @ 1.75gph

    installed: 0-20oz/si gauge | vaporstat | hour-meter | gortons on all rads | 1pc G#2 + 1pc G#1 on each of 2 mains

    Connected EDR load: 371 sf venting load: 2.95cfm vent capacity: 4.62cfm
    my NEW system pics | my OLD system pics
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